Cara Frew chases her dreams

It’s not always easy to turn a passion into a career – let alone two of them. Yet, this is precisely what Cara Frew has done with music and showjumping, and it’s what makes her journey so wonderfully unique. There’s just one thing she’s still waiting for…

Brave. Bold. And a blonde beauty. Singer. Songwriter. And a showjumper. Talented. Tenacious. And a traveller.
Our list could go on and on and on, because, quite simply, Cara Frew isn’t someone you could put in a box. She’s far too vivacious.

In fact, this Sandhurst resident is probably one of the most fearless females in our city. Although, sometimes we have to share her with other places … like London – where she’s currently living and studying psychology at Regent’s University London; Normandy – where she stables her two showjumping horses; and Los Angeles (LA) – where she studied at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles and where she’ll be recording new music this month.

It’s a good thing Cara loves to travel, as she says, ‘Travelling is the only other hobby that fits into my lifestyle of singing, showjumping and studying. Luckily with showjumping and singing, travelling is a part of the job!’ Yet South Africa remains ‘home’ for this jet-setter – who’s a go-getter.

Her Instagram bio says, ‘I live my daydreams in music,’ but we find Cara’s an expert at chasing – and living – her dreams in day-to-day life. Take, for example, how she made her childhood wish come true… ‘I knew from before I was eight [years old] that I wanted to sing, and specifically be in Hollywood. I think I had this notion because I heard that that’s where all of the best singers lived. So that dream never changed, and the moment I got the chance to go over to LA, I did.’ The former Kingsmead College learner describes her younger self as ‘a very animated child’ who always loved to sing. ‘I picked up songwriting around the age of 12, studied music and school, sang in the choir, took drama and the lead in all of my school plays.’ After matriculating, she followed her heart’s Hollywood desire to learn about the music business.

During lockdown, I knew I had to release [Waiting For Love] because I was longing for connection and missing the ones I love.”

Cara burst onto the local music scene with Falling and then Invisible. ‘I am still learning, growing and breaking in all the time. Black Coffee gave me my first leg-up with a collaboration. Then I wrote and released a couple of tropical electro-pop-based songs which went to number one on many radio stations nationwide, and from there, Sony Music Ent noticed me and offered me a deal. At the time, I was living between LA and SA, and I focused on getting international collaborations and pitching myself to sing on some of the biggest stages that side of the world. After determination, I achieved what I had set my sights on – performing at Ultra Music Festival Miami, Coachella music festival and Johnny Depp’s infamous sunset strip joint, The Viper Room.’

Her single, Free, was nominated for the South African Music Awards. ‘My current music is still pop-driven vocally but I have decided to strip the production down a bit to create a more earthy feel, include organic elements, acoustic guitar and groovy basslines. I feel that this is more who I am as a person, very chilled but, at the same time, I have lots of energy.’

While she’s hugely driven, she’s patient too – as the title of her latest single, Waiting For Love, suggests. ‘I wrote it after a night out. I met someone who I thought was really exciting. I was trying to act cool and keep my composure but, really, I was just getting lost in emotion. It took four years to record and release as it didn’t fit into the electro-music that I was releasing at the time. In January 2020, I found the right guy to produce the original, and during lockdown, I knew I had to release it because I was longing for connection and missing the ones I love.’

Even while ‘waiting’, Cara breaks boundaries. She teamed up with Sony artist, Beatsbyhand on a remix. ‘We instantly connected. I loved his first draft and that was it.’  When a dear friend organised for Cara’s birthday bash in Berlin to be filmed as a keepsake, the musician had other plans. She turned the footage into the music video for the remix. ‘A little unplanned fun, as I thought, ended up as the most incredible day, sailing, soaking up the sun and spending time with some of the people that I love most… We loved it so much that we wanted to share our keepsake with the world!’

Letting her fans – or Frew Crew – into her world is something Cara does so effortlessly on Instagram. ‘I just try to share who I am and what I think is interesting!’ A scroll through her grid shows all her favourite things: Music, loved ones – ‘Family is everything’ – and horses. Having competed at the World Equestrian Games three times – once for vaulting and twice for showjumping – Cara’s next aim is the Olympics in 2024. While she competes on the European circuit exclusively, she rides with her mum at Steyn City when she’s home, and she’s always keeping riding fit – she loves to do Pilates with her mum in SA and enjoys CrossFit in London. ‘When I am travelling, I am not so good at getting to the gym, but I balance that challenge out by eating really healthily.’ She’s never looked back since adopting a plant-based diet 10 years ago.

After an ‘interesting’ 2020, this year, Cara’s heart is set on new music and more releases – mid-year, she plans to drop an EP – as well as ‘horses, family, friends, good health and happiness’. With Cara’s track record, she’s bound to achieve all these dreams. And probably so many more.

Details: @carafrew on Instagram.

* Text: Daniella Graham. Photographer: Garreth Barclay. Make-up artist: Hannah Kruyer.